U.S. Immigration Legal Advisors Thailand FAQs

"My Thai Fiancee has a criminal record in Thailand. He was previously arrested for something sexual but I am not sure of the specifics"

To: The attention of U.S. Immigration Legal Advisors,

I would like to ask a question before I start the process of trying to obtain a U.S. visa for my Thai fiance. The subject of the question is delicate and atypical. I have been referred to U.S. Immigration Legal Advisors and told of your expert knowledge in U.S. visas from Thailand. The first thing you may find unusual is that I am not an American man. I am an American woman and a U.S. citizen. My boyfriend is a Thai man. My boyfriend has a criminal record in Thailand. He was previously arrested for something sexual but I am not sure of the specifics. He has tried to explain it to me but the language barrier makes complex discussions like this quite difficult. He told me that he was a driver of a van that was carrying young girls from Lao to Bangkok to work in the sex industry. The van was stopped on the highway and all adults were arrested. Besides the adults the van had 3 girls and one child. I think he may have been charged with human trafficking, but I am not sure. The girls were aged 13-15 and the child was 10 years old. Two Thai ladies were also arrested. After the arrest the Thai police released everyone after paying money and he later returned to court and had to pay an additional fine. He told me that he didn’t know the girls were going to Bangkok to provide sexual services. I am sure he is telling me the truth, he is not the kind of person who would be involved in child sexual abuse for profit. His profession is and always has been a driver. The problem is I don’t know what the court papers say he was convicted of, and if it will prevent him from being able to apply for U.S. immigration. I want to find out the law and see if he can qualify for a U.S. visa before I start the process.

Brook

Dear Brook,

It certainly sounds like your boyfriend was not aware of who he was driving, or that they were going to Bangkok to provide sexual services for money. I haven’t seen a Thailand van driver yet who quizzes his passengers as to who they are and what they do. It would also be inappropriate for an adult man to engage in a lengthy inquisitive conversation with 13 and 14 year old girls, or a 10 year old child. He may have just assumed that the two ladies were the mother’s of the children. I am curious as to why the Thai police stopped their van to begin with and how they were able to ascertain that the girls and the child were going to Bangkok to provide sexual services for money. Clearly, there is a great deal more to this story than you have knowledge of. At this point you can confirm he was arrested. The arrest resulted in a court appearance and apparently a conviction. We will need to review the court documents to determine the crime he was convicted of. You have stated that he paid a fine at the court, your letter did not indicate that he was sent to prison. If he only paid a fine one can assume that the crime for which he was convicted was not serious, otherwise he would have received a prison sentence. Human trafficking and child sexual abuse are serious crimes. Any crime against a child, any type of child abuse would certainly result in a punishment that exceeded more than just a fine. Thailand courts and Thailand police can sometimes have an interesting way of dealing with issues even when they are of a serious or sexual nature, so it is difficult to speculate and we should reserve speculation until we can see the court documents and work with fact. If there is any indication in the court records that he was involved in human trafficking or child sexual abuse even as a trafficker the USCIS and American Embassy in Thailand will find him ineligible to receive a U.S. immigration visa.

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